Abu Bakr

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Abu Bakr
Abū Bakr as-Ṣiddīq
1st Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate
Caliphate8 June 632 – 23 August 634
CaliphPosition established as new title in order to succeed Muhammad's leadership
SuccessorUmar ibn Al-Khattab
Born27 October 573
Mecca, Hijaz, Arabia
Died23 August 634 (aged 60)
Medina, Hijaz Arabia, Rashidun Empire
Full name
Abū Bakr aṣ-Ṣiddīq ‘Abdallāh bin Abī Quḥāfah
FatherUthman Abu Quhafa
MotherSalma Umm-ul-Khair
  • Mu'taq (presumably the middle)
  • Utaiq (presumably the youngest)
  • Quhafah ibn Uthman
  • Fadra
  • Qareeba
  • Umme-e-Aamer
TribeQuraysh (Banu Taym)



Abū Bakr (أبو بكر ;c. 573 AD-22 August 634),[1] was a senior companion and—through his daughter Aisha[2]—the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Majority of sunni scholars and contemporaries believe Abu Bakr became the first openly declared Muslim outside Muhammad's family.[3][page needed][4] Abu Bakr served as a trusted advisor to Muhammad. During Muhammad's lifetime, he was involved in several campaigns and treaties.[5]

He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632 to 634 AD when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death.[6] As caliph, Abu Bakr succeeded to the political and administrative functions previously exercised by Muhammad. He was commonly known as The Truthful Caliph (الصديق, As-Saddīq).[2] Abu Bakr's reign lasted for 2 years, 3 months and 11 days ending with his death after an illness. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632 to 634 AD when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death.

Early life[change | change source]

Rashidun Caliphate during the reign of Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr's full name is disputed with sources stating Abd Allah, Atiq or Abd al-Ka'ba. His father was Abu Quhafa Uthman ibn Aamir ibn Amr ibn Ka'ab ibn Sa'ad ibn Taym (from whom the at-Taymi al-Quraishi) ibn Murrah ibn Ka'ab ibn Lu'ai ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr al-Quraishi.[7][8]

In Arabic, the name Abd Allah means "slave of Allah". The name Atiq means "the saved one".[9] The name Abd al-Ka'ba means "slave of Ka'ba". He was known by title al-Siddiq (the truthful)[2] by Muhammad after he believed him in the event of Isra and Mi'raj when other people didn't, and Ali confirmed that title.[10]

There is a dispute over his name being Abdullah. Ibn Hajar in Al-Isaabah, and many other narrations, narrates from Qasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, "I asked Ayesha the name of Abu Bakr. She said Abdullah. I said people are saying Ateeq. She said Abu Quhafa had three children, one was Ateeq, second Mu’taq and third, Otaiq. All three names are similar and derived from the same root."

He was mentioned in the Quran as the "second of the two who lay in the cave" in reference to the event of hijra, where with Muhammad he hid in the cave in Jabal Thawr from the Meccan search party that was sent after them, thus being one of few who were given direct mention in the Quran.[11]

Imam Jafar al Sadiq famously narrated how the title Siddiq was given to Abu Bakr from Muhammad.[12][13] Jafar was a direct descendant of Abu Bakr from his maternal side, as well as being a descendant of Ali from his father's side. Jafar al-Sadiq was also the successor of the Naqshbandi Sufi order believed to be originating from Abu Bakr himself.[14][15][16][17][18] Imam Muhammad al Baqir, the father of Imam Jafar Sadiq, also called Abu Bakr with the title Siddiq.[19]

Much of the available knowledge about Muhammad comes through Abu Bakr's daughter, Aisha. After the death of Abu Bakr, her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was raised by Ali. After Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was killed by the Umayyads, Aisha raised and taught her nephew Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Aisha also taught another nephew Urwah ibn Zubayr. He then taught his son Hisham ibn Urwah, who was the main teacher of Malik ibn Anas] whose views many Sunni follow.

Qasim's mother was of ‘Ali's family and his daughter Farwah bint al-Qasim, who married Muhammad al-Baqir, was the mother of Jafar al-Sadiq. Therefore al-Qasim was the grandson of the first caliph Abu Bakr and the grandfather of Ja'far al-Sadiq.

Another of Abu Bakr's grandsons, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, was very close to Husayn bin Ali. After Hussein ibn Ali was betrayed by the people of Kufa and killed by the Yazid I Army of the, Umayyads ruler,[20] Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr confronted Yazid and expelled him from Iraq, southern Arabia and the greater part of Syria, and parts of Egypt. Following a lengthy campaign, on his last hour Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr asked his mother Asma' bint Abu Bakr, the daughter of the first caliph, for advice. Asma' bint Abu Bakr replied to her son:[21] "You know better in your own self, that if you are upon the truth and you are calling towards the truth go forth, for people more honourable than you have been killed and if you are not upon the truth, then what an evil son you are and you have destroyed yourself and those who are with you. If you say, that if you are upon the truth and you will be killed at the hands of others, then you will not truly be free". Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr left and was later also killed and the army now under the control of the Umayyads.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Abu Bakr". Encyclopedia of Islam (2nd ed.). His father was Abu Quhafa ..., and he is therefore sometimes known as Ibn Abi Quhafa. ... The names Abd Allah and Atiq ('freed slave') are attributed to him as well as Abu Bakr, but the relation of these names to one another and their original significance is not clear. ... He was later known as al-Siddiq, the truthful, the upright, or the one who counts true
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-2696-8.
  3. Shahid Ashraf (2004). "Encyclopaedia of Holy Prophet and Companion (Set of 15 Vols.)". Encyclopaedia of Holy Prophet and Companions. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 978-81-261-1940-0.
  4. Aʻzami, Muhammad Mustafa (2003). The history of the Qur'anic text: from revelation to compilation : a comparative study with the Old and New Testaments. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-872531-65-6.
  5. Tabqat ibn al-Saad book of Maghazi, page no:62
  6. "Abu Bakr - Muslim caliph".
  7. "Abu Bakr R".
  8. Tabaqat ibn Sa'd 3/ 169
  9. Abi Na'eem, "Ma'arifat al-sahaba", no. 60
  10. Abi Na'eem, "Ma'arifat al-sahaba", no. 64, 65
  11. Glasse, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. Rowman Altamira. ISBN 978-0-7591-0190-6.
  12. The divine guide in early Shi'ism (who also have a strong believes to follow Ali as their first Khalifa after Muhammad death): the sources of esotericism in Islam by Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, SUNY Press, 1994, p95
  13. Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition By Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, ISCA, 2003, p124
  14. Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, ISCA, 2003, p.iv
  15. The Naqshbandiyya: orthodoxy and activism in a worldwide Sufi tradition by Itzchak Weismann, 2007, p24
  16. Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism by D. S. Farrer, 2009, p273
  17. Islamic Sufism by Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah, Tractus Books, 2000, p104
  18. The Naqshbandiyya: orthodoxy and activism in a worldwide Sufi tradition by Itzchak Weismann, Routledge, 2007, p24
  19. Kashf al-Ghumma Abu al-Hasan al-Irbili, vol 2
  20. Akbar Shāh K̲h̲ān Najībābādī (2001). History of Islam (Vol 2. Darussalam. p. 110. ISBN 978-9960-892-88-7.
  21. "The Advice of Asmaa bint Abu Bakr (ra) to her son Abdullah Ibn Zubair (ra)".